The talent modules will take place on Friday 05 February, Thursday 03 March, Thursday 24 March and Friday 29 Aprl. The main venue for all modules is the Toffee Factory, Lower Steenbergs Yard, Quayside, Ouseburn, Walker Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2DF. 



Friday 05 February, 12.00pm – 6.00pm, with networking to follow

First Films in the UK: Facts, Figures and Essentials

Find out what the current landscape looks like for first time British Filmmakers with film and data guru Stephen Follows.

Distribution and International Sales for British First Films

Find out about the current distribution and international sales landscape with Beatrice Neumann (BeA Film) Issues covered will include: making your film for the right budget; challenges of low/micro budget features in the market place; how does packaging help get your project to distributors and sales companies? At what stage should you approach a distributor/sales company? And how should you approach them?

Knowing and Reaching Your Audience: Marketing

This segment will illuminate how to identify and maximise the audience for your film from the grassroots upwards. With marketing expert (Tom GrievsonHead of Marketing and Communications at FANDOR), by video link from San Francisco. 

Festival and Online Strategy

Festivals are almost certain to play a key role in the life of your film, as increasingly will its dissemination online. Find out how to build an effective strategy at home and abroad with Melanie Iredale (Deputy Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest) and Raven Smith (Commissioning Director, NOWNESS) .

“How We Did It”

Director Rachel Tunnard and producer Michael Berliner talk about their forthcoming debut feature HOW TO LIVE YOURS and their experiences getting a first feature off the ground.

It Takes 10 Years to Make a Movie”: From Shorts to Features - A Reality Check

Two North East filmmakers share lessons learned on the lengthy journey from making highly successful shorts to getting a first feature released. With Samm Haillay (BETTER THINGS, BYPASS) and Ashley Horner (BRILLIANT LOVE).

Followed by informal networking.



Thursday 03 March, 12.00pm – 6.00pm, with networking to follow

Getting Your Story Straight

No amount of beautiful craft can rescue a film with a duff narrative. But what is it that makes a story or idea compelling and sellable, and how might a creative producer or director help find the story of the film? With writer, producer, development consultant and script editor, Peter Ettedgui (LISTEN TO ME, MARLON)

Surviving – and Enjoying – the Development Process

Script editor Anna Seifert-Speck explores the ups, downs and in-betweens of scriptwriting and the development process.

Getting into Development/Finding a Development Partner

Find out how to best approach potential partners with your project and secure development funding. Mia BaysPeter Ettedgui and Anna Seifert-Speck in conversation.

Building a Production Team

How do you go about putting the right production team together – especially if you’re in a region without a big production base? How do writers find the right director and producer? How do producers scout out the projects they’re passionate about working on? And at what stage of the production process should this all be happening? With Oscar-winning creative producer Mia Bays.

Followed by informal networking.



Thursday 24 March, 12.00pm – 6.00pm, with networking to follow


Find out how to put together the best possible production package, approach financiers and secure and close finance with finance expert Patrick Fischer, managing director of Creativity Media and Creativity Capital. 

Show Me the Money”? Tax Relief and EIS/SEIS

Generous tax relief is available on qualifying UK film expenditure up to £20m, and various kinds of Enterprise Investment Schemes hold out the prospect of enabling companies to raise precious upfront finance. But how feasible is it for first time filmmakers to access these benefits, and are there hidden pitfalls? With producer Daisy Allsop (Zeitgeist Films), EIS/SEIS specialists Karen Whiting (RHK Chartered Accountants) and Alan Fletcher (Square One Law).

Crowdfunding and Grassroots Finance

A look at the boons – and limitations – of crowdfunding and other alternative grassroots models of fundraising. With Katharine Round (Doc Heads).

Followed by informal networking. 



Friday 29 April, 12.00pm – 6.00pm, with networking evening to follow

iFeatures and iShorts Showcase

Q&A panel clarifying iFeatures and iShorts opportunities and processes. Convened by Paul Ashton, Senior Film Executive (Talent), Creative England, with Hope Dickson Leach, director of iFeature THE LEVELLING, and Cecilia Stenbom, director of iShort IN WAITING.

Managing the Shoot

Even if you are working with a micro budget, managing the range of roles, size of crew and sheer logistical complexity of a feature shoot will be a shock to anyone who has previously only worked on shorts. Paul Katis (director and co-producer of KAJAKI) shares insights about what he wishes he’d known beforehand, as well as tips on how to maximise your production and post-production budgets and avoid classic first film mistakes. 

Post and Edit: Putting the story back together again

Post and edit are your last chances to make the film you always meant to make before it leaves your hands – to make a good film great, or to rescue things if the shoot hasn’t gone to plan. Get it wrong and you’ll sink your film. But what do you need to know beforehand to prepare for this crucial but often neglected stage of the production? With award-editor film and television editor Andrew Hulme (LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, CONTROL, RED RIDING and THE AMERICAN).


Informal 2-3 min presentations from participants on what they have learned from the programme. Followed by celebratory networking to mark the conclusion of the talent modules

Networking Evening

In the spirit of team building, an opportunity for the region’s writers, directors, producers and crew to forge new relationships and reinvigorate existing ones. Held under the Creative England and NFM banners.